• The Extermination of Homosexuals

    From tlf@bigpond.au@1:124/5013 to All on Thu Jan 31 19:19:49 2019
    Sender: Nomen Nescio <nobody@dizum.com>
    Comments: This message did not originate from the Sender address above.
    It was remailed automatically by anonymizing remailer software.
    Please report problems or inappropriate use to the
    remailer administrator at <abuse@dizum.com>.
    From: "The Left Fork" <tlf@bigpond.au>
    Subject: The Extermination of Homosexuals
    Message-ID: <c43eabf2ea37ab5f3181e0ea5fb7e914@dizum.com>
    Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 11:07:41 +0200 (CEST)
    Newsgroups: dfw.eats,dfw.jobs,dfw.personals
    Path: eternal-september.org!news.eternal-september.org!feeder.eternal-september.org!n ews.mixmin.net!mail2news.mixmin.net!not-for-mail
    Injection-Info: mail2news.mixmin.net; mail-complaints-to=abuse@mixmin.net
    Xref: news.eternal-september.org dfw.eats:641 dfw.jobs:447 dfw.personals:206

    Homosexuals were one of the specially selected groups in the
    concentration camps. Far less numerous than other prisoners,
    they experienced a hell of a particular kind. The first
    transport of homosexuals noted by the Nazis arrived at
    Fuhlsbuttel concentration camp in the fall of 1933. This was a
    new prisoner category. They were marked with the letter “A,”
    which was later replaced by the pink triangle (Rose Winkeln). As
    opposed to the Jews and the Roma, the Nazis intended not to
    exterminate homosexuals, but to “reeducate” them. The death rate
    among homosexuals was high, especially when compared to other
    groups imprisoned for purposes of reeducation. Fifty-five
    percent of homosexual prisoners died in the camps, as opposed to
    40% of political prisoners and 34.7% of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Between 5,000 and 15,000 gays died in the camps, although this
    figure might have been much higher since homosexuals, as opposed
    to Jews and Roma, could easily conceal their otherness.
    Homosexuals were treated as the lowest of the groups within the
    prisoner population. As a rule, they obtained the worst labor
    assignments, and were often rejected by their fellow prisoners
    and treated as deviants. The camp capos who oversaw the labor
    details also refused to help them. They had limited contact with
    the outside world; it rarely happened that families maintained
    contact with prisoners wearing the pink triangle, and their
    friends outside had no desire to maintain contact with those who
    were in the camps. Impulses of solidarity occurred sporadically
    among the homosexuals themselves. As Raimund Schnabel writes in
    his study of Dachau, “Those whose behavior could be called
    perverted were seldom found among the homosexuals; nevertheless,
    there were some sycophants and fraudsters. The prisoners wearing
    the pink triangle never lived long. The SS murdered them quickly
    and systematically.”

    Little is known about the lesbians who were in the camps.
    Historians are aware of only one document that lists a woman’s
    homosexuality as the reason for her being incarcerated in the
    Ravensbrück camp. The eleventh woman on a transport list to that
    camp, arriving on November 30, 1940, is a 26-year-old Jewish
    woman, Ella S. Next to her name, the word “lesbian” is written.
    She was placed among the political prisoners, but little is
    known of her subsequent fate. In Sachsenhausen, men wearing the
    pink triangle were separated from the rest of the prisoners in a
    so-called “sissy block.” More than 180 of them were confined to
    this former student dormitory, without any distinction among
    them: from unqualified manual laborers and shopkeepers to
    musicians, professors, and clergymen, and even aristocrats and
    magnates. Homosexuals were not allowed to hold any prisoner
    functionary positions. They were also forbidden to converse with
    prisoners from other blocks. It must have been feared that they
    would entice others into homosexual behavior. There is evidence,
    however, that such acts occurred more frequently in other blocks
    than in the one for homosexuals.

    Homosexual prisoners were forced to sleep in nightshirts and to
    hold their hands outside the covers. This was supposed to
    prevent masturbation. One prisoner recalled that “anyone caught
    without underwear or with their hands under the covers—and there
    were several checks each night—was taken outside, had several
    buckets of water dumped on them, and was made to stand that way
    for a good hour. Only a few survived, especially when there was
    a centimeter of ice on the windowpanes. Bronchitis was prevalent
    as a result, and it was rare for a homosexual to come back alive
    from the hospital.”

    A block supervisor in Gross-Rosen Concentration Camp (now
    Rogoznica, Poland) was notorious for exceptional cruelty. As
    Józef Gielo writes in his Gross-Rosen camp memoirs, “this German
    convict and sexual pervert lured young boys into his room and,
    after several days of having relations, murdered them in cold
    blood. He also murdered anyone who witnessed his actions, even

    Homosexuals were assigned to particularly hard labor in
    Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Auschwitz, and other
    camps. They labored in the Sachsenhausen cement plant and in the
    underground factories near Buchenwald that manufactured V-2
    rockets. Rudolf Hoess, who held the post of commandant of the
    Sachsenhausen camp before being transferred to Auschwitz, was
    convinced that sexual orientation could be changed through hard
    labor. The results of this reeducation were lamentable: the
    majority of the prisoners under his control died. The
    Sachsenhausen camp, regarded until 1942 as “the Auschwitz for
    homosexuals,” held large numbers of homosexuals. They labored
    mostly at quarrying clay and making bricks in the camp.
    Regardless of the weather, they had to push carts full of clay
    towards the machines that produced the bricks. This work was
    particularly difficult because the pits were almost empty; most
    of the clay had already been dug out of them. The half-dead
    prisoners pushed their carts uphill, urged on all the time by
    the SS men and the capos guarding them. The carts ran on tracks,
    but they frequently derailed and tumbled back downhill, crushing
    defenseless prisoners who did not even attempt to get out of the
    way. The sounds of breaking bones and the lashings of the blows
    directed at the prisoners who remained alive could be heard.

    L.D. von Classen-Neudegg, who survived Sachsenhausen
    Concentration Camp, describes the death of some 300 homosexuals
    laboring in the cement plant. “We learned that we were being
    separated by a penal order and transferred the next morning to
    the unit working in the cement plant. We trembled, because the
    death rate among workers in that factory was higher than
    anywhere else. Guarded by soldiers with automatic rifles, we had
    to run to our workplace in rows of five. They hurried us along
    with blows from their rifle butts and bullwhips. Forced to carry
    twenty corpses, those who remained alive were covered with blood
    by the time they got there. This was, alas, only the beginning
    of the hell. Two-thirds of my fellow prisoners died within two
    months. To kill someone attempting to escape paid off for the
    soldiers. For each prisoner he killed, a soldier received five
    marks and three days’ leave. They used the bullwhips most often
    in the morning, when they were forcing us down into the pits.
    ‘Only 50 are left alive,’ the man beside me whispered several
    days later. A certain sergeant told me one morning, ‘that’s
    enough. Do you want to cross over to the other side? It won’t
    hurt. I’m an excellent shot.’”

    Tomasz Gedziorowski, the author of the book Widma [The Spectres]
    recounts the relations between a Dachau labor detail capo, Georg
    Schittkett, and younger prisoners: “He was a short, slender man
    with something feline about his movements. He moved almost
    noiselessly through the corridors and the cellars where potatoes
    were stored. His motionless face betrayed no feelings. His stony
    features only softened when he paused to talk with his favorites
    in the labor detail. They were two young boys, one from Lódz and
    the other a Pole from France, whom he affectionately called
    ‘Bubi.’ Bubi had a plump face with gentle girlish features, and
    there was nothing manly about the way he swished his hips when
    he walked. The capo’s assistant was a husky young German wearing
    a black triangle.”

    Over time, the ‘Nazis perfected the technique of using other
    methods than exhaustive labor to exterminate homosexuals. In the
    Flossenbürg camp, for instance, they opened a house of
    prostitution and forced homosexuals to visit it as a form of
    treatment. The prostitutes were Jewish and Roma women from the
    nearby women’s camp. The Nazis cut holes in the walls through
    which they could observe the “behavior” of their homosexual
    prisoners. Homosexuals who were cured of their “sickness” were
    sent for “good behavior” to the Dirlewanger division, formed of
    prisoners to combat Russian partisans on the eastern front.

    In 1943, Himmler issued a new decree allowing homosexuals who
    submitted to castration and demonstrated good behavior to be
    released from the camps. Some of them took advantage of this
    ruling, although “walking out the gates of the camps” did not
    mean they were no longer under the “care” of the Nazis. They
    were assigned to the penal Dirlewanger division and sent into
    combat, which equaled a death sentence. The death rate among the
    soldiers in this division, which was notorious for its brutality
    towards Russian partisans, was extremely high.

    Homosexuals were subjected to medical experiments. A Danish
    endocrinologist, Carl Vaernet, castrated 18 homosexuals in the
    Buchenwald camp and then injected them with high doses of male
    hormones. The goal of the experiment was to discover whether
    they would be interested in the opposite sex following such
    procedures. The results remain unknown, since a yellow fever
    epidemic in the camp caused the experiment to be suspended.
    Vaernet carried out similar experiments at the Neuengamme camp.

    At the end of the war, the majority of homosexuals were freed
    from camps in both parts of divided Germany. However, the
    homophobia directed against them by the public remained strong.
    Article 175—the basis for sending thousands of innocent people
    to concentration camps—remained in force in the DDR until 1967,
    and in West Germany until 1969. There were some American and
    British lawyers who demanded that homosexuals convicted under
    Article 175 serve out their full sentences. For instance, if
    someone had been sentenced to eight years and served five years
    of the sentence in prison followed by three years in a
    concentration camp, the lawyers demanded that the person return
    to prison to serve out three years. The number of people forced
    to “complete” their sentences in this way is not known. To this
    day, no financial compensation has been paid to the victims of
    Nazi homosexual policies, despite the fact that the German
    government offered compensation to victims of Jewish ethnicity,
    political prisoners, and other groups that survived the
    concentration camps. Only the homosexuals were passed over. Many
    people deny that the homosexuals have a right to any such
    compensation, stating that victims with an alternative sexual
    orientation were justly imprisoned, and “had no one but
    themselves to blame.”

    Significant numbers of the homosexuals who survived the war
    found themselves unable to return to their families or hometowns
    following their camp experiences. There were many reasons for
    this. Above all, however, shame and the fear of being
    stigmatized motivated homosexuals to change not only their
    addresses but everything else that could have been associated
    with their earlier lives.

    The attempts that homosexuals made to conceal their pasts in the
    camps combined with the attitudes prevailing in postwar Europe
    to make it difficult for researchers to find many of those who
    had been sentenced under Article 175. As one of those
    researchers, Richard Plant, noted in his book The Pink Triangle:
    “Despite the fact that they no longer had to wear the pink
    triangles that designated them, they remained marked to the end
    of their lives.”

    --- Platinum Xpress/Win/WINServer v3.1
    * Origin: Prison Board BBS Mesquite Tx //telnet.RDFIG.NET www. (1:124/5013)